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Citation Guide (MLA 8th Edition): Religious Texts

Tips

Name of Generic Religious Texts in the Body of Your Paper

Do not italicize or use quotation marks in your paper when referring to a generic religious text. These terms appear without italics or quotation marks when referred to in your paper:

  • Bible
  • Old Testament
  • Genesis
  • Gospels
  • Talmud
  • Qur'an (Koran)
  • Upanishads

Only italicize titles of individual published editions of religious texts (e.g., The Talmud of the Land of Israel: A Preliminary Translation and Explanation, The Interlinear Bible, etc.) when specifically citing them in your paper.

In-Text Citations

The titles of books of scripture are often abbreviated for the in-text citation. For a full list of abbreviations, consult section 1.6.4 of the MLA Handbook.

Bible/Qur'an/Talmud, etc. (All Scripture)

Title.Version. Edited by First Name Last Name of Editor, Publisher, Year of publication.

For in-text citations, use (Title, Version or Editor, Chapter and verse)

 Note: The titles of books of scripture are often abbreviated for the in-text citation. For a full list of abbreviations, consult the Purdue OWL.

Works Cited List Example

The New Jerusalem Bible. Edited by Henry Wansbrough, Doubleday, 1985.

In-Text Citation Example

(New Jerusalem Bible, 1 Chron. 21.8)

   
Works Cited List Example

The  Bible. Authorized King James Version, Introd. and notes by Robert Carroll and Stephen Prickett, Oxford UP, 1998.

In-Text Citation Example

(Bible, King James, Rev. 21.3)

 Note: If you are citing multiple versions of a text, add information such as version, editor, or translator to identify the specific text.

   
Works Cited List Example

The Qur'an. Translated by M.A.S. Abdel Haleem, Oxford UP, 2005.

In-Text Citation Example

(Qur'an, Joseph 12:69)

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